Updated 24 Aug 2013; the buffet is now $12.40 and payment in cash only.
Man … were we surprised, pleasantly surprised!
I was just checking our old posting on Kedah House and found that the last time we were there was three years ago, almost to the day. I drive past Kedah House to and from work everyday and yet we had not eaten there for that long.
As always, Arkensen and Nanzaro wanted pho or sushi for lunch. The boys can just live of those stuff everyday — together with instant noodles. Suanne and I overruled that choice. Suanne does not like raw sushi at all. We finally settled for Malaysian instead.
We were going to drive all the way to Seri Malaysia in the far reaches of Vancouver until we remembered Kedah House. For some reason we did not have a good impression of Kedah House’s food. Perhaps that’s why we had not made an attempt to visit them after all these years.
Kedah House is located on SE Marine Drive (Vancouver) in a little strip mall just east of the Knight St Bridge. Many years ago they used to operate on Fraser Street until they moved here.
This is what changed our perception of Kedah House. They have a $10 buffet lunch on weekends. [Note: Malaysians normally call all-you-can-eat as buffets].
The decor is really basic with lots of misplaced Tourism Malaysia posters all over wall. As far as I remembered, it is much better than we visited this place 3 years ago. It is cleaner and brighter.
The buffet spread is placed along the wall on two sections of a long table. There was not a lot of varieties but more than enough for a good hearty lunch. Despite that, the quality is pretty awesome for a buffet.
We were kind of surprised how busy this restaurant was on a weekend. We got seated at a strategic location … just next to the buffet table! It does make it easier for repeat trips. Not sure about you, but I like many return trips to the buffet table for a “focused” selection of food rather than piling up the plate with all kinds of grub.
It is very Malaysian (or rather I should say “very Malay”) the way water are served in a plastic pitcher. He he he … they even serve it in a very Malaysian type of glass too. These kind of glasses are very common in Malaysian coffee shops, like 99.999% of the shops uses glasses of this design.
I will consider this as the “salad/appetizer”. It is not really an appetizer as Malay cuisine does not really have the concept of appetizer (well, unless you count munching on dates is considered as an appetizer). This is called Gado-Gado. Oh boy … this is soooo authentic that reminded me of the comfort food I grew up with.
The best part of the Gado Gado is the peanut sauce. They were marvelous and served warm too. I drenched the entire salad with the peanut sauce. I like the fact that they keep on refilling the peanut sauce so that they remain so deliciously freshly made on the buffet table. This is perhaps the best Gado Gado on this part of the planet.
All the usual ingredients were there … cucumber, ketupat, turnip, dried tofu, rice cake and hard boiled egg. Oh, talking about hard boiled egg, my mum (as in ALL mums in Malaysia) forbade me to eat overnight hard boiled eggs when I was young — I emphasize the word overnight. It was OK for girls to eat overnight hard boiled eggs but not for boys. Can anyone share with everyone why?
I had the cold hard boiled eggs. I don’t care if anyone stare at my pants. LOL!
Nasi Minyak is literally translated to as Oily Rice. It was really fragrant. We can pick up the smell from afar. The fragrance is from the spices used, primarily star anise and curry leaves. For once, forget the name but they are really delicious by itself.
This is a salad … freshly made from cucumber, pineapple, onions and chilli for that extra heat. Although we were told that this is sometimes taken by itself, the waitress recommended that we do it like this …
… mix the Nasi Minyak with the salad. I was not familiar of mixing the salad with Nasi Minyak but oh boy … it gives a very good balance of taste and texture. Try it — I think you will like it a lot. We did.
Their rendang is very tender and mushed from the slow cooking over many hours. Bursting with flavour at the bite and spicy hot, this is done very well. For those who knows rendang, you will probably agree that this looks perfect.
Overnight Hard Boiled Eggs are a no-no but fried eggs are OK for boys. They pour a sweetish chili sauce on it to add more character to it. Even Suanne who does not like eggs, thinks this is really good.
The Mee Goreng was really good too. There is also the Deep Fried Chicken which they call it Ayam Masak Merah — I did not have a picture of that. That was kind of greasy but if you can overlook that, it was fabulous.
The Vegetable Tom Yum Soup was well made with the right level of sourness and spiciness. It is infused with quite a bit of lemongrass which is what gives this soup the distinctive character.
This is my plates … I went for four servings in all. It is that good. Oh, in Malaysia it is quite OK to stack the used plates on the table. LOL! They don’t normally come by to clear used plates like we used to here.
Dessert was Apam Balik. It is like a pan cake. I wished they had used a lot of peanuts but they used corns instead. As much as I like Apam Balik, I just think that corns has no place in making this … it does not add to the texture nor compliment the already sweetish taste.
And the surprise of the day is KOPI! No, not coffee but Malaysian KOPI with its distinctive darker thicker roast. Oh wow, they could have gotten away by serving Folgers coffee but no, they actually imports Malaysian coffee to make Kopi. It smell and tasted exactly like the thick, dark, rich, creamy coffee from Malaysia.
For $10, this is really good and authentic Malay comfort food. It is all you can eat. I highly recommend that you check this place out one of these weekend. They “strongly recommend” on their menu that you make reservations for the $10 weekends buffet special but we found that we did not have to. Sure, it was busy when we were there but there were tables available. I am pretty sure you will like Kedah House.